Thursday, June 23, 2011

Huguette Clark estate to become a museum

The verdict is in, the will has been read, and the people of Santa Barbara can rejoice. Huguette Clark has left the people of Santa Barbara her 23 acre estate.
Congratulations. In addition Ms. Clark's art collection will be housed here for viewing at any time. This is huge, wonderful news for those who had hoped to be able to enjoy this wonderful property. If you have followed this story on this blog, you know that is what I had hoped for and now our wish has been granted. The estate has been given to all of us.

Huguette Clark died in New York last month at the age of 104. Her will, obtained Wednesday by the Associated Press, reveals that artworks by Renoir, John Singer Sargent and other greats will be moved from her New York home to the Santa Barbara property.

Her will revealed that Clark left most of her $400 million fortune to the arts. The museum will be run by the new Bellosguardo Foundation, named after the Santa Barbara property. Bellosguardo means "beautiful view" in Italian.

Clark had not set foot on the estate for more than 50 years before her death.

It is unknown when a museum might open at Bellosguardo. In Santa Barbara, the Mayor, Helene Schneider called the idea "a crowning jewel in our city's artistic heritage" and said she would offer the city's aid "in making Huguette Clark's wishes become a reality."

Wonderful news. Thank you Huguette Clark. May you rest in peace knowing that your home will be enjoyed by those who visit it.

(***Some historical photos from circa 1920 of the exterior of the Bellosguardo estate in Santa Barbara from the USC Library can be seen below. ***)

Photograph of an exterior view of the Bellosguardo estate in Santa Barbara, ca.1920. A two-story building -- the Child Estate whose land later became a bird refuge and zoo -- can be seen on a hill partially obscured by trees to the left of center. The hill is bordered at right by a body of water, while a field and mountains can be seen in the right background. Plants and trees are visible in the foreground.
Originally, the image had the following title: "Exterior view of the Bellosguardo estate in Santa Barbara, later a bird refuge and zoo". The Bellosguardo estate, however, was never turned into a bird refuge or a zoo. It was sold to William A. Clark in 1923 for $300,000 and, 10 years later, Mrs. Clark had the house torn down to make way for a new home designed by Reginald Johnson, architect of Santa Barbara’s main post office and the Biltmore Hotel.

Another of the exterior below shows tables and chairs on a stone outdoor patio at center. A building with pillars can be seen at left attached to the patio, while bushes and trees line the patio at right. What appears to be the ocean and mountains are visible in the background.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First Day of Summer: Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice parade begins Saturday June 25th the length of State Street at Noon.
You can start the festivities on Friday June 24th 4-9pm. Look for me, I will be the good looking one on stilts.
Senor Savvy..."The most interesting man in Santa Barbara"

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Prince William and Kate to visit Santa Barbara, California

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge coming to Santa Barbara, California.
Or is it....
Prince William and Catherine coming to Santa Barbara, California!

Whichever name you call them by it is nonetheless exciting news for Royal watchers and fans of William and Kate that they are coming to visit.

On Saturday July 9th, William and Kate will make their way up to Santa Barbara where William will be playing in a Charity Polo match to benefit the American Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry. The match is happening on July 9th at the Santa Barbara Polo Club. Tickets will be available for $4,000 a piece for VIP, or $400 for Club Tickets. The event is entitled the "Foundation Polo Challenge"

Celebrity Chef Giada De Laurentiis will be designing the menu: Giada calls it "a light and fresh menu" of pea pesto crostini, California chopped salad, and chicken Milanese. . Tickets can be obtained via:

I will not be riding any horses on this day, but you may see me there drinking on the sidelines. Look for me. While you may see me, the question remains will you see the Captain and Commando?

Senor Savvy, "The most interesting man in Santa Barbara"

Giada De Laurentiis, reason enough to drive up to Summerland:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Huguette Clark Dies at 104...Owner of Bellosguardo

Hugette Clark, the reclusive heiress and owner of Santa Barbara's Bellosguardo has died at age 104.

Bellosguardo,"Beautiful View" in Santa Barbara is a mansion on the coast situated next door to the Santa Barbara cemetary. The property is passed by many tourists unknowingly on a daily basis because it sits perched high on a hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Estate is owned by Huguette Clark who is 103 and lives in a hospital in New York. The Huguette Clark Mansion is 21,666 square feet on 23 acres and is worth more than 100 Million. Huguette inherited her money from her father William Andrews Clark who some said was worth more than Rockefeller. He made the bulk of his fortune in Copper in Jerome Arizona: the United Verde Copper Mine and in Butte Montana. Las Vegas today resides in Clark County named after him.

Clark's desire was to become a Senator of Montana. He ultimately became Senator under much suspicion and only remained for one term.

Huguette, wed William Gower on August 18, 1928 at the age of 22 at Bellosguardo. As a way of preparing for her big day she donated $50,000 at the time to the city of Santa Barbara to clean up the Bird Refuge across the street. Ironically, She divorced within 3 years. She herself filed for divorce and received no alimony.

Rumor has it that Huguette has not visited the mansion in some 30+ years. This was certainly the rumor I heard back in the late 80's. She ended up living the rest of her years in New York with her mother until her mother died leaving her depressed and reclusive. She preferred to remain alone with her dolls.

Rather than live in one of her many mansions, today she lives her final years in a hospital. I wish her much peace and happiness.

Maybe down the road Ty Warner will buy Bellosguardo and make it into a museum or park that we can all enjoy.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Beautiful Day for a Mint Julep

While it may be 58 degrees and cloudy today in Santa Barbara at least its not raining like it is in Louisville. Not enough to change the Derby. So jump in your car over to Earl Warren showgrounds like I recommend every year. You can place your bets.
This years winner is going to be Midnight Interlude who won the Santa Anita Derby this year. It will be a battle down the stretch to hold off deep closing Dialed In who will be making a desperate drive to catch him to no avail. But he will pass Archarcharch and beat him out of 2nd by a nose. Finishing up but still close by will be Shackleford. So now that you know the finish put your money down and have yourself a nice mint julep. Or better yet, tape the race and have a Bloody Mary over at Brophy Brothers. Just give yourself enough time to pick up your huge winnings before going home.
Order of finish for this years Kentucky Derby:

Good luck

Friday, November 19, 2010

Phuket, Thailand

When not visiting Santa Barbara i'm known to hang out in Thailand with Bono on Pansea beach....
My new blog if interested is

Friday, September 10, 2010

Real Men Cook 2010....Flag is Up Farm

You've heard of the "Horse Whisperer" haven't ya? Well how about the food whisperer? Over 25 wineries pouring the best wines Santa Barbara has to offer with over 50 amateur chefs vying for your vote for best food on the planet....All for charity. This is a must visit event. And if you are lucky you just might meet Monty Roberts, the Horse Whisperer himself. Tell them Senor Savvy sent you.

Email Sandie for tickets $60 per person. Funds go to support the Arts Outreach Program:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Easton Gallery - Contemporary Landscape Artists

The purpose of reading a site such as this is for insight that cannot be attained anywhere else. The best Martini: Harry's Plaza Cafe, the best pasta: Trattoria Mollie, the best Oyster shooter: Brophy Brothers, the best spot to have a beer at 5pm: Patio at the Harbor Restaurant on the Pier. So when I find little known spots that are apt to bring great joy, I can't help but pass the information on to you.

Hidden on a tiny street in Montecito, 557 Hot Springs Road you will find the Easton Gallery is open Weekends 1-5pm and by appointment. This is a gallery devoted to landscape artists; most notably local landscape artists and Santa Barbara has some great ones. So stop in on the weekend or call them up for an appointment. Tell them that Senor Savvy sent you. "The most interesting man in Santa Barbara!"

Eat, Pray, Love

The non fiction book: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert is a story about a woman's search for herself. Elizabeth travels to Italy, India, and Indonesia to experience food, spirituality, and healing. (My interpretation, don't bust me on this one.) She is quite a compelling author and hold's my attention. Which is saying quite a bit since I get bored with many books. I admire her for doing what she did and must say she is braver than most and has especially strong knees to be cleaning floors for hours on end in 100 degree heat in an Ashram in India. While I posit to my wife that I too could do this, most likely I would cry uncle before the 15 minute mark and pour myself a Guinness as a consolation prize. But I digress.

Elizabeth had guts and the time to escape for a year. She spent time in meditation and grew spiritually. But what if you only had a day, a few days, or a week? Wouldn't it be nice if there was a place to get in touch with your spirituality that was close to home and in a beautiful location that didn't cost a fortune. Well, I can tell you there is such a place and it is in Montecito California: Immaculate Heart Center for Spiritual Renewal. You too can escape and practice your meditation and you don't even have to fly to Bali or Mumbai.

The center offers private non directed retreats for individuals and couples of all faiths. So what are you waiting for?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Santa Barbara Century

Not your grandmothers little ride around the neighborhood. This ride will go uphill over 9,500 vertical feet in 100 miles. These folks picked a very hard route, so come prepared with your "A" game. It looks like great fun, but you won't find me doing this one. Maybe next year. Sign up at the link below: